Now, the West Wing has always been delusional, putting forth the premise of a magical, fairy world somewhere far removed from our own where a democrat actually can win a national election and become president. Yes, I know. How farfetched is that? It seems that not satisfied with this amount of fantastical story weaving, the writers dipped further into their bag of chimeras (and probaly quite a few dime bags) and now paint the hilarious premise that a liberal democrat could win the white house. I have no clue what they're smoking but I'll bet vala_amaris would like to bum a hit or two.
The way that the situation is in the country right now, it'd be a miracle if the dems could take the whitehouse, and this is even with all the problems beseting republican control. The people who study demographics will tell you that based on the census data from 2000, republican states ended up picking up far more population than democratic ones and thus gained more electoral clout in the south and mountain states. The idea that an unabashed lefty, hippie, liberal could gather the necessary 270 electoral votes is laughable. The dems' best chance is to float a moderate or conservative democrat, or at least one that can fake the part until the election is over. Well, that or hoping that the republicans somehow split over the nomination and hand them a victory by default like how clinton got elected in '94.
As it stands, if the republicans really want to keep the whitehouse, there's almost nothing the dems can do to take it. McCain is probaly unbeatable with his appeal to indies and even across the asile. The only question is will conservatives come to the conclusion that having McCain and a sure win is better than picking a more conservative canndidate and possibly splitting the party. According to a NBC poll conducted April 21-24, McCain is trouncing Hillary by almost a 10% margin in a hypothetical matchup.